The Day I Derailed a Train

Today, as I type this guest post on my ergonomic keyboard (my wrists supple as a result), if I am to look to my immediate left I am confronted with a gorgeous sight.

The sun is cascading through the branches of a grand old tree that leaves (ha) part of the building in a much cooler shade. Today is a glorious day.

Almost two years ago today the weather was not too dissimilar, the day I accidentally derailed a train.

We left early that morning in an attempt to get to Cheddar while our energy levels were high, just like the owners must have been to willingly allow us to film in their toy museum.

Cheddar is a picturesque village that is a huge tourist attraction, featuring a limestone gorge and a famous toy museum with a trademark train circling the front of the building.

On that fateful day I found myself driving with my colleague Michael to my left and our volunteer, Matthew, in the back sitting behind the passenger seat. We were to film some costumes for the Jokers’ Masquerade website where Michael and I work.

“Nicholas Cage visited the museum four times,” said Marjorie, a rather sweet older woman who owned Cheddar Toy & Model Museum along with her husband Peter, proudly holding a signed photo of the Leaving Las Vegas actor beneath Mike’s nose.

Leaving us alone to film the costumes, Matthew now wearing a Mr. T costume and donning the un-PC black face since he is the palest human being ever created; no doubt the product of a relationship between a pint of semi-skimmed milk and a rampant testosterone filled box of chalk.

Michael was wearing a Buzz Lightyear costume as we opted to film a toy themed costume video. A toy story costume at a toy museum sounds about right, right?

Delicately placing each foot as he moved, he gingerly stepped over the toy train track that covered the front of the building’s exterior. We watched the train traverse round the track, occasionally a ‘toot, toot’ ringing out, catching the attention of passers-by, followed by a continuous ‘chug, chug’ sound that filled the air.

Filming each of the shots that we needed can be difficult to remember so I usually carry a clipboard with paperwork attached, but where to put it? I feasibly don’t have enough hands to work the camera and hold the clipboard.

Matthew couldn’t help as he was scrubbing face paint from his skull. Incidentally this palest of pale Englishmen is now red from a combination of sun burn and the inability to remove all of the face paint. I laughed to myself because I am an awful person.

I balanced the clipboard on the fence that surrounded the train track and finished filming. Such hard work is often rewarded with a nice mug of tea, thanks Marjorie.

Upon exiting the small museum the sound of silence filled the air; it was so peaceful. Looking around I soaked in the serene surroundings and thought ‘What happened to the train?’ No ‘toot, toot’ and no ‘chug, chug’.

Gingerly approaching the fence I was confronted by my clipboard strewn across the track, the train on its side, wheels locked, tiny trees upside down and mini passengers in urgent need of medical attention from a tiny plastic doctor.

I set the train in motion, it seemed okay. We left.

We laughed about the incident on the way home as Matthew said, “It’s good I finally removed all that make up.”

As I turned round one of his ears was still black, he had missed an enormous patch.

“It certainly is,” I replied. “It certainly is.”

About the Author:-

This is a guest post by Ian Tomkins. He has been tolerated by his colleagues at Jokers’ Masquerade Halloween costumes in the UK for a decade. The last Halloween fancy dress costume he wore on October 31st was Beetlejuice. This is the only connection between himself and Michael Keaton, well, apart from the tired good looks and the fact both spent time wearing a cape and being filmed in a cave in 1989.

Hello, dear readers! I believe this is the first time I haven’t introduced the guest author before letting them speak. But then would you rather I interrupted this fine tale just to let you know some trivial details that I usually try to pass off as words of wisdom than let you get straight into the story and get a first-hand experience?

So how was the anecdote? I found it hilarious. Did you? Do leave some comments below and let Ian know because he has done a fine job of entertaining us today. And such fine writing shouldn’t miss some fine comments.

Anyway, that’s it for today. Come back this Sunday for another sparkling post from yours truly wherein I teach you how to steal an umbrella… and not get away with it. Sounds interesting, huh? Well, you will have to wait to find out what it’s about.

Till the next time, have fun… and don’t derail trains like the family in Malcolm in the Middle. 😛

P.S. I haven’t given Spyglassviewer’s facebook page much thought before this. But I think it’s time to improve our community interaction. So if you wish to be a part of it then don’t forget to like our facebook page (see the right sidebar near the top for the gate).


2 thoughts on “The Day I Derailed a Train

  1. I kept wishing there was some background music playing while I read your post. Maybe Johnny Cash, “I hear that train a comin”. Thanks for the chuckle, Ian.

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